APEX: Inmarsat debuts SwiftBroadband TV

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Inmarsat has unveiled its new on-demand video service, SBTV, at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference in Long Beach, California

The satellite specialist says that the SBTV platform will provide on-demand video updated through the SwiftBroadband network, which then wirelessly transmits multimedia content to passengers throughout the flight on their personal electronic devices.

Inmarsat says airlines will have the opportunity to choose different content providers depending on the routes they fly and the ability to decide how often content should be refreshed throughout each flight.

"SBTV has been designed to reflect the way TV content is now consumed by people on the ground, enabling more viewer choice thanks to the ability to consume on-demand content on PCs, tablets and smartphones," said David Coiley, Inmarsat vice-president, aviation.

"SBTV provides an opportunity for airlines to leapfrog the limitations of [pre-recorded] news services by allowing passengers on-demand access to the latest news and sports programming on their own, to choose what they watch and when they watch it."

OnAir chief executive Ian Dawkins told Flightglobal in August that the company was in the middle of performing trials for a new on-demand video service for SwiftBroadband, which is expected to hit the market at the beginning of 2013.

A spokesperson confirms that OnAir plans to introduce the Inmarsat service but will offer it under the name "On Demand TV."